With DEATHTOLLS, up-and-coming Iranian virtual reality artist Ali Eslami is seeking to resensitize the general public to the reality behind the abstract statistics on the hundreds of thousands of deaths in the Middle East. When news media bombard us with facts and figures every day, they gradually lose their emotional urgency. Eventually, our brains automatically filter out this dry “data reality,” even though it is crying out for our attention. The war in Syria is a good example. Eslami takes this psychological effect as the starting point for an investigation of how virtual reality can not only restore empathy, but also provide a context to news reports.